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Old September 24, 2008, 03:02 PM   #16
Citizen Carrier
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Join Date: July 10, 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 671
Not sure I agree with the idea that German troops hesitated to act independently.

They were quite adept, no doubt out of necessity, of forming ad hoc battle groups in various situations. And they were offensive-minded and proactive. The typical German response to an attack, it was said, was to counterattack with whatever was available. The typical American response to an attack was to saturate the problem with whatever firepower was available. And usually what was available was huge.

I doubt they were allowed the freedom of action Americans were able to employ, but certainly far more than the Russians. I believe an American general commented that one of his 2LTs on the Elbe had more ability to make decisions and act than a Russian front commander.

Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration...

The Japanese, on the other hand, likely lost the war because their culture did not allow for a high degree of personal initiative in it's leaders.

The classic example is the Battle of Midway. American flight leaders took it upon themselves to make decisions on the spot where a Japanese in the same situation would more likely have asked higher for guidance. The result: our torpedo planes found their carriers because their leader decided on the spot to "go thataway".
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